Trucking Industry Informative - Safe Driving for EVERYONE

Review by truckin21 on 2007-02-01
I have written a few reviews on the trucking industry. My reason was both selfish and informative. Yes, alot of people understand the importance of trucks to our economy. But. I wonder how many actually knows what a driver has to go through to do his job, just so people can eat, sleep, and be merry. How many times to you check your tires, your engine compartment, your lights, your guages, before you start out on a trip? I have seen cars parked along the highways with flat tires and no jack, over heated because the fan belt broke, out of gas because they didn't check the fuel guage. Car drivers don't do this because they are not required to. Truck drivers do it (most of us) because we are required to. Why? I am going to leave this review at that. Why are truck drivers required by law to do a "Pre-trip" inspection? And, please, I am not trying to be facetious. I am just trying to inform those that don't know who might want to know.
Comments:13 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-02-02
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
Thanks truckin! I'm voting you "very helpful"
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
I have to do all that for whatever ambulance I am on, plus a thorough check-off on the inside (takes upwards of 20-30 minutes).

And, I don't get paid.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
I am not trying to be facetious but it is there job and when a person gets in ther car it is (mostly) not a job. Big difference
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
Your comments are well appreciated. Too bad that 99% of the motoring public only knows to turn the key and shift to drive. Everything else is a mystery. When my kid took driver ed I was shocked to find out that information about checking tires, fluid levels, wipers or even how to change a tire was not part of the course.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
PassingBy, my DD still doesn't have her driver's license (at her age, my parents let me drive out of state by myself - 16). She spent her 15 1/2 year having NO interest in learning to drive.

Hey, did anybody else get those horrid (I mean heart-wrenching) videos during driver's ed in high school? I had some bad ones that still haunt me today.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-01:
Forgot to add, before I could get my driver's license (with a stick shift, uphill), I HAD to know how to change a tire, check the oil, etc, VIA my dad.
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-02-01:
I still see that Lidman doesn't get the point. I don't understand what his problem is. What I am getting at is: "Safety, whether it be in the home or on the road, is EVERY BODIES responsibility. And sure, everybody KNOWS it but how many actually practice it? I want you all to be honest with yourself; What is the first thing you turn on after you turn the key to start the car? If you said radio you would be among the other 98%. The first thing I turn on is my headlights. Whether it be day or night. Why? You ever see this sign on a truck: "Our lights are on for YOUR safety."? That is why I turn my lights on. So, cars now-a-days have what they call "daylight driving lights". My opinion of those? Who ever invented them should be locked in a room and made to look at them 24 hrs a day until they learn that they are more hurtful than helpful. Even in broaddaylight they are brigther than most "highbeams". They are just another example of people having someone else take the responsibility that they should take. How many times do people say: "I don't turn my headlights on because if I forget to turn them off my battery goes dead." If you cannot remember a simple thing like turning your headlights on or off, it is a very good indication that you are NOT paying attention to what you are doing. Any body that gets behind the wheel of ANY vehicle and "plays with the radio", combs their hair, puts on makeup, READS THE NEWSPAPER, (yes I have seen that), is not and cannot pay attention to their driving, therefore what ever happens they must be willing to accept and not blame the other person. If you were paying attention maybe, you could have avoided being hit by the guy that turned infront of you. And, for those that don't know, that is an example and is not directed at, or meant for anyone in particular. If people would inspect their vehicles (and that includes everyone because I know truckers that say they do but in fact they don't), pay attention to what they are doing, our roads would be a whole lot safer and ur trips would be a whole lot more enjoyable.
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-02-01:
Let me put it this way: Is a 38 pistol any more deadlyier than a 22? Both of them are capable of killing you. Yes, on is "bigger, more powerful, than the other. Yet, in order to carry either one, legally, you need a permit. A car is smaller than a truck. You can carry (depending on the size of the vehicle, and the containers) well over 50 gallons of gas, not including what is in the tank, in a car. A tanker truck can carry 5,000/10,000 gallons of the same. Bigger? yes. More deadly? Maybe, depending on circumstances. They BOTH can create dangerous situations. The difference? The truck needs to be placarded and the driver has to follow specific routes and regs. The car doesn't need to do any of this. No Placarding, no following hazmat routes, no stopping every 200 miles and check the tires. This thing called "Home Land Security" is spending millions, if not billions, of your dollars to make sure trucks cannot be used in a terroist event. How many "truck bombs" have you heard of? All the bombings being reported from Irag have been CARS. Or humans thinking they are immortalizing themselves. This is why I say truckers are being pointed out for "special attention". What is to prevent 15 cars from being loaded with gas, explosives, etc. on the West Coast, driven to the East coast and "set off". They are not placarded, they don't have to cross any scales, go thru any ports of entry in each state, heck, the drivers don't even need to follow the main highways. And you cannot figure out why I say TRUCKERS are Being discrimated against just because they are truckers, and the trucks MAY cause damage. The size of the vehicle is not important, it is whats' in the mind of the character behind the wheel that is going to determain what that vehicle does and how it does it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-02:
What ever you say pal, flip, flop.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-02:
Truckin, you've made an obvious good point. Don't waste your time with this guy - he doesn't understand much .
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-02-02:
Truckin21 my problem with your post is that I live in Chicago and travel the major Kennedy Expressway twice a day during both rush hours and I have been forced out of my lane by an impatient mammoth trucker trying to come into my lane, a truck riding my bumper in stop and go traffic and trucks hauling ass barely keeping in their lane. Truckers may go thru safety checks but I would take a broken belt anyday versus forcing someone out of their lane or getting to close to a car that's 1/10 my size when there are kids inside. Truckers need to be just as safe when they are actually driving. I note every truck dricing by me and if they have a "How am I driving" # so that I can call if they nearly cause an accident. I kinow it's not all truckers but not all drivers are irresponsible about car care either. Plus, I am a pregnant chick with a 3 yr old. Broken fan belt, flat tire...what am I going to do but call for help.

We ALL need to drive respectfully and safely.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-02:
rhondam718732, well said and good points!

PWP begging for mor votes, what a shame.
Posted by truckin21 on 2007-02-02:
rhondam718732 I agree. Not all truckers, just like not all 4-wheelers know what they are doing. Inhave driven in Chicago, Los Angeles, Buffalo,NY.. My pet peeve is: I always travel the right hand lane. I try to keep at least three car lengths between me and the guy in front. So I can avoid, or stop in time to keep from hitting the guy that has his 3 year old in a childs seat, he's traveling the left hand lane and all of sudden he decides to cut across three/four lanes so he can make his exit. Yes, and I have seen truckers do the same thing. All trucks (any way they are supposed to have 'em) have turnsignals all along each side. If you are beside a truck and you see this signal flashing (Indicating he needs over) do you keep driving, do you slow down, or do you speed up? It has been my experience (especially in Phoenix) that they don't move. I was trained to drive 1/4 mile in front of me. And, that is the way I drive. Sure I have trucks pass me all the time, I have cars pass me, cut in front of me, follow me so close they can't see my mirrors, so I can't see them, but there are other ways to know if some one is "tailgating you". And I use them. And yes, I have only been driving truck for 5 years, going on six, and I have never came close to having an accident because when I get behind the wheel of any vehicle, I don't turn the radio on, I don't talk to someone in the back seat, I don't talk on the phone, because I PAY ATTENTION to what I am doing. If everybody would do that we wouldn't have to worry about the other driver. Truckers (the good ones) have a hard enough time driving the truck for themselves, let alone have to drive for some idiot that doesn't pay attention and tries to cut across 3 lanes of traffic and then blames the trucker for hitting him. Yes, trucks are bigger than cars, but a lot of people still think they can stop quicker. Just remember, the person behind the wheel of a truck is not a robot (altho I have seen some trucks going down the road that would that would make that hard to believe) he is a human being, and humans are prone to mistakes. A truck drive needs both hands to drive a truck. One for steering, one for shifting. Most trucks are standard shifts (There are some new ones with automatics). I think the problem develops when everybody in a car, nowadays, needs something to do with their hands because 99% of the cars are automatics so what do they do? Read a book, watch a movie on their portable DVD, change clothes, playwith the radio, etc. I even saw one guy DRIVING with his left food hanging out the drivers side window!!!! How comfortable could that be, let alone safe??
Regardless of what Mr. Lidman says, or thinks, I do not think people in general really know how to SHARE the road with a vehicle bigger than they are. Sure, they know, or should know, it takes more room to stop a truck, more room to manuever (spl) a truck, and just because the driver sits up higher doesnot mean he can see everything. I am ot down grading any body, I am not trying to be a know it all.. But, in the five years that I have been on the road, I have seen more incompetancy than I ever thought possible. Why do people go out spend $30,000.00 for a nice vehicle and then drive like they have know idea of what they are doing. I am not that lucky, that I can buy a vehicle like that and not take care of it. But, I am lucky enough that GOD gave me a brain to be able (and smart enough) to take care of what I do have. I am 65 years old and I can count on one hand the number of vehicles I have owned. I can count on two (2) fingers the number of cars I (Personally) have wrecked. I can't afford to buy a new car every year or evey other year, so I have to take car of the one I have. All I'm saying is: If people would respect their own property as much as they want other people to respect it we could cut our accidents, and in turn our insurance premiums, in half if not more.

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